Greetings. I am Mirra Shards, and I hope you enjoy this story.

The characters will travel around the world, so expect phrases in the different language. I cannot put it all in the millions of different languages around the world, but when you see (*), that means it is a language other than English. I will put the English translations at the bottom.

Happy Reading.

Oslo, Norway

"Våkn opp*, Ellinor!" Mrs. Hansen shook her fifteen year old daughter awake. Ellinor groaned. "Just a little longer," she yawned, covering her head with the blanket. Mrs. Hansen rolled her eyes. "Ellinor, get out of bed. You'll be late for school."

"Ughhh," Ellinor groaned again, rolling off the bed onto the floor. "Oof! Okay, okay," she grumbled. "Just give me a few minutes."

"That's my girl. Oh, and by the way," Mrs. Hansen told her, "your father is home." Ellinor jumped up and ran downstairs. "Ellinor! Get dressed!" her mother yelled after her.

Mr. Hansen rubbed his eyes as he lay on the couch. Being a night watchman at a museum was very tiring, and he was just about fall asleep when…

"Pappa*!" Ellinor squealed. She ran over to the couch, where Mr. Hansen slowly got up to greet his daughter. "God morgen*, sweetheart," he said sleepily. "How was work? Did something exciting happen? Tell me!" Ellinor bombarded her father with questions.

Mr. Hansen chuckled. "Slow down, Elli," he said, calling her by her family nickname. "You leave for school in ten minutes, so you should go get ready."

Ellinor pouted. "Okay," she grumbled. Then she gave him another hug. "Jeg elsker deg, pappa*."

"Jeg elsker deg også*," Mr. Hansen replied, hugging her back. Just then, Mrs. Hansen appeared. "Now, go get ready for school," she told Ellinor. The young teenager happily ran back upstairs.

Ellinor was walking back from school when she had the oddest sensation that she was being watched. She flung her head around, her platinum hair swinging over her shoulder. Nothing. Ellinor shivered, and it wasn't just because of the chill in the air. She turned her head back around and started walking a bit faster.

A little farther down her path, Ellinor came across a very odd sight. A man, tall and red-haired, was yelling at a…swan? Coming closer, Ellinor could see that this man was dressed strangely, with armor, a wolf cape, and a bronze helmet with two wings on either side. He also carried a giant stone hammer. The swan was pure white, and looked utterly bored with the man.

"Unnskyld meg*?" Ellinor called out. The man and the swan turned around. She paused for a moment to admire the man's hight. He was seven feet tall, at least. "I-is everything alright?"

"Back off, puny mortal!" the man bellowed. "I am Thor, mighty god of storms, and I will not waste precious time talking to humans!"

Ellinor stood in shock. What was this man talking about? Thor didn't exist. Glancing at the swan, she saw that it looked amused at the situation, and it seemed to be smiling (if birds could smile).

"What did I say? Begone! Unless you wish to be crushed by Mjöllnir!" The man, who claimed to be Thor, yelled again. He brandished his weapon and took a threatening step towards Ellinor, who ran away. However, she could've sworn she heard the swan, in a woman's voice, saying, "Was that really necessary?"

Ellinor ran into her house, slammed the door, and locked it. Mr. Hansen startled awake. "Huh? Elli, hva er galt*?" he asked, getting up and going to her. All his daughter could do was gasp for breath. Finally, she spoke.

"There was a HUGE man screaming at a swan. He was dressed oddly, with a complete Viking suit. I asked him if he was alright, and he threatened me with his hammer. He said that he was Thor! And the swan," she continued, "it talked! It asked if it was necessary. It was so scary!"

Mr. Hansen stared. Never before in his life had he heard such a wild story. He looked at his daughter, who was shaking in fear. Sighing, he put his hands on her shoulders and focused her blue eyes on his.

"Ellinor, are you telling the truth?" he questioned. Ellinor nodded. "I promise, pappa." Mr. Hansen sighed again. "Alright. Go up to your room and get your homework done," he told her. She gulped, and peeled herself away from the door and up to her room, still shivering.

With music blasting and her pencil moving across her paper, Ellinor thought about the event from earlier. What actually happened? She felt embarrassed that she had told her pappa. Of course, he had asked, so she had given him a straight answer. Even so, she couldn't help but feel ashamed that she had told him.

Suddenly, something large hit her window, making Ellinor jump. Panicking, she jumped up and wielded her pencil. Shaking, she started walking towards her window, but stopped again as something began tapping against the glass. Ellinor took a deep breath and crossed over to the window, threw it open, and almost bumped heads with a swan.

"I realize that you are afraid, maybe a bit confused, but I need you to listen." The swan started talking before Ellinor could scream. "First of all, I should apologize on Thor's behalf. He can be a little...loud, sometimes." The swan ducked its head. "So, with that out of the way, you have to know something. The gods are coming down to claim this land. All of it. And they're not the only ones with that idea." The swan looked Ellinor in the eye. "That is why I come here. You must stop the war."

Ellinor was in shock. She had known this swan for two minutes, and it was already telling her that a war needed to be stopped by HER. "I'm sorry, you must have the wrong person. I am not capable of stopping a fight in school, much less a full blown war between mythical gods."

"Vær stille*!" The swan hissed. It looked around. "Do you wish to die soon?"

Ellinor rolled her eyes. Now she was more infuriated than scared. "Oh? And if you know the gods so well, what are you? Besides a talking swan," she challenged.

The swan sighed. "I am a Valkyrie," it said quietly. "My name is Eir. Now would you please listen? You have to stop the war because in the moment I saw you, I felt your desire to help others. You wish to become a healer, don't you?" Ellinor said nothing. "When you met Thor, I knew that only you, and no one else, could do it. Do you know why?" Still silence. "Because you can see them, Ellinor. You can hear me speak. You have the ability to sense what most others cannot. That is why."

"Wait. Are you telling me that no one else can see you?" Ellinor asked in amazement. The swan shook its head. Ellinor thought back to the event. Now that she thought about it, nobody else had seemed bothered by the man. In fact, she had been getting funny looks from people who walked by her.

Ellinor spoke again. "Okay," she said quietly. "IF I believed you, how could I help?"

The swan grinned its beaky grin. "Thank you. Now, here's what you must do..."

Våkn opp=Wake up


God morgen=Good morning

Jeg elsker deg, pappa=I love you, daddy

Jeg elsker deg også=I love you too

Unnskyld meg=Excuse me

Hva er galt=What's wrong

Vær stille=Be quiet

Please read and review, tell me what liked, what I could do better, etc.

Until next time,

Mirra Shards

(P.S. Happy #palsicfreeJuly)